Probably the last Five Thoughts of 2020 here and I’ll start by thanking all of our readers for the comments, interactions and relationships. Baseball is from an organizational standpoint one of the more complicated sports to cover especially when your team is so often dreaming of the future. To your credit, most of you have that deep an interest and that has given two nerds from Pittsburgh a place to talk and an audience to match. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
Now, onto the five thoughts for the day.
1. I’m Very Confused by Much of the Bell Reaction
For one thing, this was wholly expected. And I don’t mean ‘told ya so’ I mean this was coming and I don’t know anyone in the industry who reported differently. This year was always going to be extend or expel and Bell isn’t the only player in that category. It goes to show the power of the homerun in baseball, he hit a ton in 2019, a full third during one month where he put up Babe Ruth numbers. He’s a lot closer to Hunter Renfroe than he is Bobby Bonilla.
2. Don’t Look Now but the Cubbies Might Be Blowin’ it Up
They are rumored to have names all over the place, Contreras, Bryant, Darvish, and they need to make a decision on Rizzo and Baez. They’ll use COVID as cover but this is exactly why Epstein wanted to leave, he doesn’t like this part when it’s his own players. And let me stop you before you get started, No this doesn’t mean the Pirates should hold tight, it’s too late for that and you don’t let other franchises decide your plan for you, you just aim to do it better.
3. I’ll Be Genuinely Surprised if Musgrove Survives the Weekend as a Bucco
Now that Snell has landed those who were in on him will of course think about Darvish, but they all know they can’t get him so look for Musgrove’s name to pick up steam. Where? Oh, I’ll say Toronto who just lost out on a bid to grab Ha-Seong Kim. Before you ask about a return, too many choices, I’d like to think he could land Manoah and at least one more good prospect.
4. Jacob Stallings is My Darkhorse Move
The Padres are doing everything to go all in this season. From picking up Blake Snell and reportedly being deep into talks to acquire Hu Darvish, to signing Ha-Seong Kim I find it hard to believe they’ll head into next season with Austin Nola as their top Catcher, at least without an insurance policy. Currently they are looking at the Cubs for Caratini or Contreras but if those two fall through don’t rule out Stallings, issue is what would they have left?
5. A Good Move Benefits Both Clubs
This is true, but that doesn’t always mean it’s an even swap. For instance, here’s an even trade proposal on the field. Would you make that deal? MLB swaps are extremely rare anymore except in mega deals where one team is giving up so much they have to show something immediate like Verdugo to Boston. That’s not to say one team is perpetually fleeced while the other makes out. If you wanted prospects and got prospects, you got what you needed. Doesn’t mean they’ll pan out but let’s be honest, if the Pirates were trading for MLB talent it better be eating another team’s dead contract to sway them to send a better prospect. Because that’s the focus, not the current clubhouse.
I’m sure we’ll talk again before the New Year but just in case, have a safe and happy holiday!